A new suit (or at least a shirt)

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This will help your favorite MBA student feel confident when he mingles with recruiters and top executives, or when she  aces her interviews. There’s a reason they say “dress for the job you want, not the job you have.”

A note saying “I forgive you….”

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Your MBA student is going to be so overwhelmed during their first semester (and even year), and they will be so busy that they won’t have enough time to eat, exercise, or even call you on your birthday (or your anniversary). Tell them now that you love them and will forgive them.

A Babel fish

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Or if you don’t have one, a voucher for Rosetta Stone or another tool for learning a new language. In addition to learning about new cultures and businesses, MBA students often go on fun and crazy trips abroad, as part of a field study or just spring break. Now is the right time to learn how to say “Hamburguesa con cerveza” –  before the craziness of business school starts.

An IOU

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If they need to relocate in order to go to school (whether it’s to the West Coast, Europe, or the middle of nowhere), your friend will have to do a lot of packing, cleaning up and storage planning. Promise them to be there when they will need a hand. . .

A subscription to a new magazine or paper

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. . . that will help them with their career transition. If they are aspiring entrepreneurs, go with Fast Company; for finance geeks, get the WSJ.

A pre-MBA vacation

Yes, getting into an MBA was probably stressful and sucked all the free time your friend had; business school is going to be even worse. Now is the time to plan a pre-MBA vacation, whether it’s just a weekend getaway or a full-fledged soul-searching-trip to South-East Asia,  Central Africa, or anywhere else.

 

A new watch, cufflinks or jewelry

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MBA students spend about $100,000 on their business school education, all in the hope of finding a great job and getting a return on their investment. An impressive watch is an easy way to help them feel confident and connect with other alpha-dogs.